Eala looking to achieve goal in ‘city of dreams’
Alex Eala is trying to go deeper than she’s ever been in the US Open. And so is her Greek opponent.
The Filipino top player, seeded second in junior girls’ competitions, was to face 15th seed Michaela Laki in Flushing Meadows, New York.
Eala and Laki were clashing at press time in a Court 12 match that started 11 p.m. on Wednesday, Manila time.
A win would ensure her a spot in the quarterfinals, closer still to a Grand Slam title that the 16-year-old has been eyeing the past two years.
“Just do it in the city of dreams,” wrote Eala on her Facebook page.
Although she made the semifinals of the French Open last year, Eala was only able to make second round in the US Open when she debuted in the Grand Slams in 2019.
Unlike that year when she had to battle through qualifying rounds, this time around Eala is favored to cut through the main draw being one of the top seeds.
She eliminated American Charlotte Owensby, 6-3, 6-3, in the second round Tuesday night after taking a bye in the opening round.
Against Owensby, Eala remained composed, committing just 14 unforced errors while slamming home 16 winners against her opponent. In contrast, the American committed 25 unforced errors, including six double faults, and hit just 13 winners in the match that lasted 66 minutes.
Now standing in Eala’s way is fellow 16-year-old Laki who advanced after a 6-0, 6-4 triumph over Elizabeth Coleman.
On the same court, Eala and Belgian partner Hanne Vandewinkel will play in a second-round match against Laki and Slovakian Radka Zelnickova later in the day.